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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report

May 28, 2023 6:03 pm

Here is this week's WGXC Congressional Report, tracking the votes, statements, positions, and campaigns of the representatives and candidates for the 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st Congressional seats in New York. Democrat Pat Ryan is representing the 18th Congressional District, Republican Marc Molinaro represents the 19th Congressional District, Democrat Rep. Paul Tonko represents the 20th District, and Republican Elise Stefanik represents the 21st District. Click here to listen to this report.

Paul Kirby reports in the Daily Freeman that Rep. Pat Ryan keeps insisting that Republicans are proposing to slash veteran services. Currently, Congress must approve a new debt ceiling to cover past spending, and instead of just approving the new limit as in the past, Republicans in the House of Representatives say they will only approve a new limit if there are massive spending cuts in the next budget. Ryan said, “Far-right, extreme Republicans in Washington have offered two bad options: either we default on the full faith and credit of the United States, which is unprecedented in our nation’s history, or we agree to their cruel cuts to veterans’ services.... These are the men and women who risked their lives for our country. American heroes I served with in Iraq who were told this country would always have their back. My response is simple: ‘Hell, no.’” Republican Rep. Marc Molinaro claims there will be no cuts to veterans services, saying, “Cuts to the veterans services and benefits are off the table.... The Limit, Save, Grow Act sets a topline number for the entire federal budget. It does not include cuts to the VA.” Molinaro did not say what spending cuts he is in favor of, or what cuts Republican negotiators are demanding of President Joe Biden's team. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.

Joshua Solomon reports in the Times Union about what New York Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado has been up to. It has been about a year since Delgado quit on the 19th Congressional District, leading to a special election that Democrats won, and a general election that Republicans won. Delgado was seen widely with Gov. Kathy Hochul during her reelection campaign last fall, but since then Delgado has not been very visible. Now Solomon writes, "he has been relatively absent during the governor’s biggest political fights since the election: the failed nomination of Justice Hector D. LaSalle as chief judge; an unprecedented (and now failed) proposal to increase housing; and recent changes to the state’s bail laws intended to increase public safety." Delgado declined to be interviewed for the story, instead sending a statement that said, in part, that he has “worked in partnership with Governor Hochul to build a safer, fairer and more affordable state.” Instead, Solomon caught up with Delgado speaking in Herkimer, "read[-ing] lines that can be traced back to state websites and administration news releases." Delgado has almost become Hochul, who as number two to Andrew Cuomo, did little but tour the state and meet many local officials. Delgado has been meeting folks such as Assemblyperson Chris Tague, a Schoharie conservative, who at the Olde Tater Barn in Schoharie County saw the Lt. Gov at an annual Chamber of Commerce awards dinner. Delgado said, “This community embraced me, and whether you were a Democrat, a Republican or an independent, there was at least an attempt to be civil, thoughtful.” Delgado then turned to Tague, and said, “We’re not going to agree on every single issue, right, Chris?” Tague said he wishes Delgado had a louder voice in the Hochul administration, saying, “Maybe things would be a little different in Albany if he was able to play a little bigger role.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.

Kevin Frey reports for New York State of Politics that two Hudson Valley Congressional representatives are sniping at each other, as Democrats want to increase the country's debt limit, while Republicans will only agree to that if Democrats agree to spending cuts. Republican Marc Molinaro, who represents the 19th Congressional District said, “We can neither default, nor can we sustain the rate of spending.” Democrat Pat Ryan is complaining about the spending cuts the Republicans are demanding, even though increasing the country's debt limit was previously routine and non-partisan. Ryan said, “The money has to come from somewhere when you make cuts across the board," and that means, Ryan said, that veterans will see cuts. Molinaro said, “It's an outright lie that quite frankly doesn't astonish me.... We have already moved forward with robust veterans funding.” Read more about this story at New York State of Politics.

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